Local sheriff’s office starts new initiative to help offenders get their lives back

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muscogee county jail

(FILE) Muscogee County Jail

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office has implemented a new plan to prevent offenders from reoffending.

The Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) has put together a folder with resourceful information to hand to all inmates who are being released back into the community. The folder is known as the Re-Entry Resource Information Folder, those entering back into the community will find several items in the folder to help them get back on their feet.

Inside the folder, former inmates will find a letter of encouragement from Sheriff Greg Countryman. A list of organizations that will help them find temporary housing, transportation, G.E.D. assistance, addiction recovery, expungement, and more. The folder will also provide a list of second-chance employers.

MCSO Director of Community Affairs John Wade told News 3 they hope this folder will help reduce recidivism inside the jail.

“We geared it to help reduce recidivism from the jail, this information is basically information that was provided from our community partners and it places information, social services that are available to them from our community partners. It puts the information right in their hands instead of having to worry about the internet or anything else,” Wade said.

Wade said inmates who have completed their sentences and are entering back into the community are always looking for this type of information.

“Well from our Chaplain, who I’ve worked with hand in hand, said this information is always asked for. You tell them, you give them numbers, write it on a piece of paper. But this is a more formalized process and again it puts the information right in their hands,” Wade said.

The Sheriff’s Office created this folder because they realize those entering back into the community may not have access to the internet. But with this folder, they will have all of the necessary resources at their fingertips.

Sheriff Greg Countryman said he’s willing to assist those entering back into the community.

“Since January 1, 2021, the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office has simultaneously conducted equal amounts of law enforcement and community outreach initiatives. As part of this outreach initiative, our goal is to help reduce the recidivism rate within the Muscogee County Jail by providing a community re-entry resource information folder to inmates re-entering the community from the Muscogee County Jail. My message to those re-entering the community is simple… not only will the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office arrest, and place behind bars, those who refuse to acknowledge the errors of their ways, but we are just as willing to assist those who recognize the errors of their ways, and this initiative will assist them with getting their life in order and back on the right path,” Countryman said.

The Muscogee County Jail started distributing the folders to those entering the community again on December 14, 2021.

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